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tv   British House of Commons  CSPAN  May 10, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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, the president's cabinet, federal agencies. order your copy today. it is 1395 plus shipping and handling through the online store. ask the british elections were held on thursday. prime minister david cameron's conservative party won a majority of seats in the house of commons, laminating the need for another coalition government. the prime minister spoke to the media on friday following a meeting with the queen.
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>> i've just been to visit the queen. i am proud to lead the first coalition government in years, and i would like to thank all those who work to make it a success, and in particular, nick like. elections can be clashes of ideas and arguments, and a lot of people who believe profoundly in public service have seen the service cut short. ed miliband me this morning to wish me luck with the new government. it was a generous gesture from someone who is clearly in public service for all the right reasons. the government i lead did important work. it laid the foundations for a better future, and now we must build on it. i truly believe we are on the brink of something special in our country. we could make britain a place
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where a good life is in place for everybody willing to work and do the right thing. our manifesto is a manifesto for working people. as a majority government, we will be able to deliver all of this. it is the reason i think the majority government is more accountable. 3 million apprenticeships, more help with childcare helping 30 million people cope with the cost of living by cutting their taxes, building homes people are able to buy. creating millions more jobs that gives people the chance of a better future, and yes, we will deliver that referendum on our future in europe. as we conduct this vital work, we must ensure we bring our country together. as i said in the small hours of this morning, we will govern as one nation, one united kingdom.
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that means rebalancing our economy. it means giving everyone in our country a chance so in a matter where you are from you have the opportunity to make the most of your life. it means giving the poorest people the chance of training, a job, and hope for the future. it means the children who don't get the best start in life, there must been or shri education and good schooling that can transform their lives and of course, it means bringing together different nations of our united kingdom. i have always believed in governing with respect. that's why the last parliament we devolved our to scotland and wales and give the people of scotland a referendum on whether to stay inside the united kingdom. in this parliament i will stay true to my word and implement as fast as i can the devolution
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that all parties agreed for wales, scotland, and northern ireland. governing with respect means recognizing the different nations of our united kingdom have their own governments as well as the united kingdom government. both are important, and indeed with our plans, the governments of these nations will become more powerful, with wider responsibilities. in scotland, our plans are to create the strongest government anywhere in the world with imported powers over taxation. no constitutional settlement will be complete if it did not offer also fairness to england. when i stood here five years ago, our country was in the grip of an economic crisis. five years on, britain is so much stronger. the real opportunities lie ahead. everything i have seen over the past five years and indeed during this election campaign has proven once again this is a
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country with unrivaled skills and creativeness, a country with such good humor and such great compassion, and i'm convinced if we draw on all of this, we can take these islands with our proud history and build and even prouder future. together we can make great britain greater still. thank you. [applause]
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>> parliament will be in recess this week. it will return may 18. later marking the end of world war ii in europe. it started with two minutes of silence. this is about 30 minutes. >> prime minister david cameron. ed miliband told the press conference today his resignation would take effect after this service. nick clegg announced his resignation.
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this morning the prime minister said we should start by recognizing those who served our country. the first minister of wales.
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his royal highness, the duke of york. on this anniversary of victory in europe, as we prepare for two minutes of silence, all the elements are in place to pay tribute to all the men and women who helped secure peace and freedom for our world. [bells]
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[horns]
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>> wills scotland, and northern ireland, representing. -- wales scotland, and northern ireland, representing. ♪ caroline jones, first minister.
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representatives of the chiefs. the marshall.
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the national president of the royal british legion, formed in 1921 to support veterans of the great war. now 100 years later and after many more lives have been sacrificed during conflicts, the legion continues to offer support to members of the armed forces. admiral sir peter wilkinson.
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the last race laid by randolph churchill and robert gale. robert gale, who was loading his landing craft with ammunition after the amphibious invasion of rangoon in 1945. when he heard about the end of the war in europe.
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>> on this day at this hour we commemorate the 70th anniversary . we give thanks to all who played their part in achieving victory in the second world war. we remember with sorrow all of those who were killed and whose lives were changed forever. >> the reverend two her majesty's forces. randolph churchill will read extract from his great-grandfather, winston churchill.
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randolph: the extract from the eighth of may, 1945. yesterday morning at 2:41 a.m. at headquarters, the representatives of the germans and the grand admiral designated head of the german state signed the act of unconditional surrender of all german land seas, and air forces to expeditionary forces and simultaneously. today is victory in europe day. hostilities will and officially at one minute after midnight
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tonight. in the interest of saving lives, the cease-fire began yesterday to be signed all along the front, and our dear channel islands are also to be freed today. the german war is therefore over. after years of intense preparations the beginning of september, 1939. in pursuance of our guarantee to poland and an agreement with the french republic, great britain the british empire, and the commonwealth of nations declared war upon this foul aggression. after france had been struck down, we from this island and from our united empire maintain the struggle single-handed for a
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whole year until we were joined by the military might of soviet russia and later by the overwhelming power and resources of the united states of america. we may allow a brief rejoicing but let's not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. we must now devote our strength and resources to the completion of our task, at home and abroad. advance brittania, long live the cause of freedom. god save the king.
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>> almighty god, we this each the that we honor to the memory of those who have died in the service to their country may be
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so inspired by the spirit of their love and fortitude that forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives, we may live only to thy glory and for service of mankind through jesus christ our lord. amen. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> teach us, good lord to serve thee as thou deserve it. to fight and not to heed the wounds to toil and not to seek for rest. to labor and not desire any reward save knowing that we do
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thy will through jesus christ our lord. amen. our father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name. thy kingdom come, they will be done in earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from people, for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever ever and ever, amen. under god's gracious mercy and protection we commit you. the lord bless you and keep you. the lord shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
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the lord lift up his countenance upon you. amen. ♪ ♪ ["god save the queen"]
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>> the duke of york leaving by the foreign and commonwealth office. the politicians take their leave.
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they have joined this pause. a victory for some. defeat for others. they have come here to pay their respect. robert gale. representatives of the three services. the navy, the army, the air force.
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a respectful moment. >> beautifully done with the simplicity that marks a lot of the remembrance in britain. one sees it in the cemeteries, or all over the world. beautifully-maintained memorial. >> today is the start of the ve day weekend. it is ve day. it is the solemn remembrance today. the mood will change. >> i think the mood will change. there was a lot of solemnity in 1945, especially for those who'd lost ones during the war, as so many had, but then of course the mood did change to one of celebration. though not as a riotous celebration as greeted the armistice in 1918. >> do you think it is because of the second world war went on that much longer, the end was a long time in coming?
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>> i think it was. the people of britain were much more affected by the second world war than the first. rationing, intensive bombing destruction of cities. chaos. >> the invitation now goes to the public to lay a wreath. it's that all embracing invitation to take part in today's remembrance. >> one sees in the groups of veterans so many of the different branches represented. i have spotted at least three old soldiers wearing berets with the polish eagle. that served alongside the -- we must remember the allies that served alongside the british during the war. >> and the germans that fled not -- nazi germany. >> germans, non-jewish and jewish came to this country as refugees. they took part in fighting that
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regime. others served in the regiments as well. ♪ >> the 19 standards of the british legion. ♪ >> the silence has been broken and we have the applause, a sense of celebration can begin. >> yes.
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the anniversary must bring back memories both happy and unhappy for those veterans today remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom. >> on this day 70 years ago, peace at last returned to europe. it would be another three months before victory in the far east was seen. then the most destructive global conflict ever seen was finally over. shortly the barriers will be removed, and the public, having laid their wreaths, will
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disperse, too. >> tomorrow, two sunni leaders from iraq discuss the political future of their country. posted by the brookings institute -- posted by the brookings -- hosted by the brookings institute. >> [speaking german]
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>> federal president, madame chancellor president of the federal constitutional court excellencies colleagues, guests . the eighth of may was a day of liberation. when these words were spoken in the address to the german bundestag 30 years ago today in bonn, not the first person to express this view, but the first to do so with the authority which resides in the head of
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state, it did not reflect broad public opinion. but perceptions were changing, and today it is a view which is shared by the majority of germans. the 8th of may marked the end of a war which was started and was waged by germany, by a german government with criminal energy. by the end, it had claimed more than 50 million lives, including the lives of around eight million germans. 70 years ago today the guns finally fell silent in europe, after almost six years. after 2,077 days of terrible war. germany's unconditional surrender followed its total
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defeat in a war whose criminal nature most germans had failed to recognize until it was too late. indeed, many were reluctant to admit it to themselves for years afterwards. a viennese writer, at the time an emigre in london and later a nobel laureate, wrote, "it is a measure of the self-delusion in which the germans have been living. the enormity of their delusion the blinding power of their hopeless belief which is so profoundly disquieting." and he asked. "what is left of them? what else are they without their dreadful military faith? where else can they fall? what will catch them?"
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end of quote. the germans could not have fallen further from grace politically, economically and morally. so it is even more astonishing that despite our country's guilt, it's fall was broken by the other european nations, by our neighbors on whom germany itself had inflicted so much unimaginable suffering. which, after the war, was not -- by a community of nations which, after the war, was not the same as before. our neighbors' willingness to embark on a journey of
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reconciliation is as fantastic as any other. ladies and gentlemen, today we remember the remember the millions of victims of a uniquely terrible war of annihilation against other nations and people, against slovs and the european jews. the 8th of may was therefore a day of liberation for the entire continent. but it was not a day on which the jermaine apps liberated -- on which the germans liberated themselves. while we would not wish to forget the brave germans who mounted resistance to hitler today our thoughts and respects are primarily windows who, -- with those who, serving with the western allies and in the red army, ended national socialist tyranny and suffered unimaginable losses. federal president i am
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confident i am speaking on behalf of the entire chamber in thanking you and also the federal chancellor and the foreign minister for your visits and gestures and speeches which you have held over the past two days at cemeteries, at memorial sites, and also at concentration camps. [applause] during the dying days of the war, the soviet troops in berlin focused their energies on seizing the reichstag buildings. but after the fire in february of 1933, it ceased to be the seat of parliament under the national socialists for many years. indeed, it did not regain that status for another five decades after the end of the war.
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when this finally became possible after german reunification, we made a conscious decision to restore and preserve much of the graffiti that the soviet soldiers had scribbled on the walls during those final days of the war in may, 1945, because these are authentic symbols of the end of the car and the -- end of the war and the chance of a new beginning. ladies and gentlemen, the 8th of may was both an end and a beginning. it was a day of liberation. for the war had to end, of course, before it was possible to make a fresh start, with new opportunities to shape a different and better future. this new beginning itself bore the scars of war. the united nations charter and
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the ambitious project to overcome europe's failed nationalism through a union of states contrasted starkly with a nuclear stand-off in a bipolar world. and with the decades of division and with the decades of division of our continent and our country. in the western occupation zone, the germans learned the anti-totalitarian lessons of the past and thus embarked on the long road west. doing so separately at first and then finally together. the professor, with this phrase, aptly sums up "the long road west," how the end of war was to affect the federal republic. it is precisely because the 8th of may was not about german
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liberation that the day of our past became a process of painful internal liberation. but this does not mean liberating ourselves from our own history. on the contrary, it means facing up to our own history, even when it is difficult to bear. we are convinced that it is only through awareness of our bitter experience that we can shape the present and the future in a politically responsible manner and serve peace and freedom in the world. last year, professor, you pointed out more clearly than others that we are living at a time of great global political change and that these changes have shaken many of the believes -- beliefs that were born out of history and were previously regard as absolute. -- regarded as absolute.
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in light of these challenges, i wish to thank you for your willingness to explain from a historian's and active citizen's perspective what the 8th of may means for us today. but first, we will hear the second movement of joseph haydn's string quarter set in c major, a somewhat melancholy series of variations on a theme long familiar throughout the world, not only to music lovers. haydn composed the melody in 1797 during the french revolutionary wars as a tribute to the austrian emperor. and as a challenge to the martial spirit of the --
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later, during the german so-called premarch, the interlude between the festival and the convening of the parliament, another wrote versus -- haydn wrote another verse to accompany the melody, voicing an impassioned plea for a democratic constitution. the eventful history of this song of germans mirrors the germans' long road west as it is called by the professor in his seminal work. "the long road west" -- this encapsulates the twists and turns of the german's journey from the hubris of the richland -- deutsche land to the perversion by national socialism
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and up until the federal republic, unity, justice, and freedom as the guiding principles of a democratic germany, a germany which, for seven decades, has lived in peace and freedom with its neighbors. we are grateful for this, and we will always remain in debted -- indebted to our friends, neighbors, and partners. [applause]
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [applause]
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[applause] >> federal president, president of the german bundestag, madame chancellor, president of the federal constitutional court, members, excellence says, -- members of the german bundestag, excellencies. ladies and gentlemen. in the whole of german history there is no greater watershed than the date whose 70th anniversary we are commemorating
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today. the 8th of may, 1945. it marks the end of the second world war in europe, the collapse of the nazi regime, which had unleashed that war and the end of the german reich. for 12 years, the nazis had fervently evoked german national unity. as the regime met its end, it was unclear whether the germans would ever live in a unified country again. in his historic speech marking the 40th anniversary of the german reich's unconditional
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surrender, the federal president of the day warned the german people not to separate the 8th of may, 1945, from the 30th of january, 1933, the date when the reich president appointed hitler as chancellor. he argued that the 8th of may, 1945, should, however, be recognized as the end of the wrong past of german history, an end that contained the seeds of a better future. the wrong past did not begin in 1933. much of the german elite, and
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indeed of society as a whole regarded the first german democracy as a product of germany's defeat in the first world war. as the type of state embodied by the victorious western powers as an un-german system. during the first world war well-known academics and writers contrasted the ideals of the french revolution of 1789 for liberty, equality, and fraternity with the german ideas of 1914. that would be the glorification of a strong state with a lillard -- with a military as its linchpin and an allegedly german socialism.
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when the wine mark -- weimar republic democracy failed and germany shifted to a semi-authoritarian regime later, hitler was able to appeal successfully to the widespread facility toward western democracy. while at the same time exploiting one of the democratic achievements of bismark's reich, general and equal suffrage in elections, which had been extended to women as well as men since the revolution of 1918 and 1919. the nazi's electoral successes can no be explained without
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taking into account the history reservations of germans of western government. his popularity reached such heights that, in the world of a -- the words of a british historian, hitler himself became a believer -- became a believer in his own cold -- cult by 1936 at the latest. in the course of the second world war, the fuhrer myth was diminished by the setbacks in the winter of 1941 and in particular by the defeat at stalingrad in 1943. but it did not die. in fact, it even experienced a brief relief of sorts. after the failed assassination
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attempt on july 20, 1944. many now believe that hitler really might be allied with providence, and only he could save germany. in the final work before his death in exile in the united states in 1945 a few weeks before the end of the war, the german philosopher interpreted hitler's political career as a sort of triumph of myths over reason. and this triumph as a result of the soviet crisis, and i quote. "in politics we are always living on volcanic soil. we must be prepared for abrupt convulsions and eruptions.
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in all critical moments of man's social life, congressional forces that resist the old mythical conceptions, are no longer sure of themselves. in these moments, the time has -- time for myths has come again. the myth has really not been vanquished or subjugated. it is always there lurking in the dark and waiting for its hour and opportunity. this hour comes as soon as the other binding forces of man's social life, for one reason or another, lose their strength and are no longer able to combat the demonic mythical powers.
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in view of the directions of xenophobia we have experienced in germany in recent months and the anti-semitic insightment and -- incitement and violence here and in other european countries, his words still hold a truly disturbing relevance today. they warn us. they warn us to heed at all times the real lesson of german history from 1933 to 1945. it is the obligation to respect in all circumstances the inalienable dignity of every human being. [applause]
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germany's second defeat in the 20th century was a total defeat, and it dealt a far greater blow to german self-confidence than the defeat of 1918. it was not the case that an overwhelming majority of jermaine of germans majority of germans saw the ally's victory as liberation. unlike the people for whom this victory brought liberation from german rule and tyranny, for many germans, the collapse of the nazi rule and collapse of their faith in the fuhrer, and their collapse of a hope of a final german victory. the unconditional surrender was initially perceived as liberation only by those germans
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who had already or always realized the criminal nature of hitler's rule. in the provisional council in the stuttgart confession of guilt in october of 1945 of a solidarity of guilt between the church and the people. this met with widespread opposition even within the church. one sentence in particular was seen as an inappropriate confirmation as the ally's aversion of the collective guilt. "endless suffering has been brought down on many peoples and countries." end quote. the worst of all the crimes
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against humanity committed by the nazis, the murder of around six million european jews, was not expressly mentioned in the stuttgart confession of guilt. decades would pass before germany came to recognize, not least due to the research of jewish scholars, that the holocaust is the central fact of 20th century german history. at the same time, another realization gradually dawned. the victory, which had been won over germany at immense sacrifice by allied soldiers and
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not least by the red army, had in a sense liberated the germans from themselves, liberated in the sense of giving them the chance to break free from political delusions and traditions which separated germany from the western democracies. in cultural terms, germany had always been a country of the old occident. germany had participated in and played a vital role in shaping the separation of powers in the middle ages, beginning with the separation of spiritual and secular power, followed by royal
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emancipatory process from re-formation and the conflict. however, some essential political lessons of the enlightenment, the ideals of the american revolution of 1776 and the french revolution of 1789, the ideals of nailable human rights, the sovereignty of the people and democracy had been rejected by influential german elites until well into the toth century. it was only the experience of the german catastrophe in the period 1933 to 1945 when german opposition to the west's political ideals reached its peak, which gradually eroded things. the opportunity which arose after 1945 to build a second
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parliamentary democracy, this time one which would be functional and capable of defending itself was only offered to part of germany however. the free western occupation zone, which would later become the federal republic of germany and west berlin. those germans living in the other part of the country were denied political freedom for four and a half decades. the federal republic's progressive opening to the political culture of the west and emergence of a self-critical historical culture were linked. it took sometimes serious journalistic and political debates to drive these processes
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forward. a debate about the german empire's key role in the developments which led to the first world war was of great significance in this context. it took time to overcome the still influential apologyist's interpretations of german history. and it took time to counteract the widespread tendency to regard the german people as hitler's first victims, and for people to absolve themselves of any share of responsibility for the wrongs perpetrated in that period. now there are markers, plaques and memorials in many german towns and cities dedicated to the jewish and other victims of
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national socialists. placed there not by the state, but by civic initiatives, and often school classes which devote themselves to researching the history of their local area during the so-called third reich. the process of addressing the war crimes perpetrated by the nazis, and in particular those in the german courts was very slow to get off the ground. it began with the trial in 1958. as late as 1986, public debate took place which has gone down in germanyian history as a dispute among historians. a dispute about the place in
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history of the nazi's murder of the jews, a genocide which led britain's four-time prime minister winston churchill to observe in a letter to his foreign minister on june 11, 1944, that, quote, "there is no doubt this is the most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world, and it has been done by scientific machinery by normally civilized -- nominally civilized men in the name of a great state and one of the leading races of europe." end of quote. many germans have traveled a
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long and painful road before they could, looking back, agree with this judgment from a former enemy. but, if they had been willing to face up to the unparalleled monstrosity of the holocaust, to the murder of tens of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities and countless homosexuals, if they hadn't been willing to accept responsibility for their terrible war crimes committed in european countries occupied and ravaged by germany, how could the federal republic of germany ever have become a respected member of the international community again? it was particularly hard for the millions of german refugees to
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recognize that their suffering was a consequence of germany's use of military force. and to come to terms iw -- with the loss of their prominence. however, after the fall of the berlin wall on the 9th of november, 1989, these symbolic events of the revolution in europe, and the culmination of a series of events stretching back to poland in august of 1980, when they unexpectedly returned to the international political agenda, it was clear to the ottavino whelming majority of germans that there could only be a reunified germany within its -- to the overwhelming majority of germans that there could only be a reunified germany within its 1945 borders.
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in other words, the german question could only be resolved if another major problem, the polish question, was resolved at the same time. that is exactly what happened with the 2+4 treaty and the german polish border treaty of november of 1990. these are two treaties which recognized once and for all in a form binding under international law the existing german polish border along the two rivers. the historic significance of november of 1990, the date when the german democratic republic acceded to the german republic -- acceded to the federal republic of germany, was
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summarized at a ceremony as follows. "the day has come on which, for the first time in history, the whole of germany takes its lasting place in the circle of western democracies." unlike the german reich, which met its end on the 8th of may, 1945, reunified germany was, from the very start, integrated into supernational organizations such as the european union and the atlantic alliance. it is a postclassical nation -- nation state, which, with the application of states, exercises some of its sovereign rights
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jointly with other member states who have transferred them to international institutions. germany's reunification in 1990 was only possible because it had broken with tradition which stood in the way of a western style democracy. that was the basis for germany's second chance. as it was put in july of 1990, a german american historian who was forced to immigrate by hitler, "germany has not finished the process of confronting its own past, nor will it ever do so. every generation must search for
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its own way of understanding a history as contradictory as germany's. there are many achievements in this history, not least since 1945, about which the citizens of the federal republic of of germany can be glad, and of which they can be proud. however, accepting ownership of this history must include a willingness to face up to the dark side of the past. no one expects later generations to feel guilt for crimes which were committed by germans, in germany's name, long before they were born.
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that said, an essential part of assuming responsibility for one's own country is the determination to be conscious of the country's entire history. [applause] this applies to all germans, regardless of whether their forebearers lived here before 1945 or did not immigrate here until later. and it applies to those who have chosen to become germans or who make that choice in the future. [applause] even if the germans were to give into the convenient temptation of no longer wanting to go
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remember the guilt germans incurred after 1933 and especially during the second world war, they would still be constantly confronted with the fact that the victims' descendents cannot forget this history so easily. the s.s. and others committed crimes in many places, crimes which will never be erased from the collective memory of the people's affected. these include the siege and deliberate salvation of leningrad, which lasted almost 900 days and cost between 6 -- 600,000 and 800,000 people their lives, the death of half of the 5.7 million soviet
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prisoners of war, as remembered yesterday. and the uprising in 1943 and the systemic destruction of the polish capital in october of 1944. the names of places such as these are better known in germany than others in serbia, greece, and italy. yet these names, too, and there are many more, stand for massacres which still cast shadows today. there is no moral justification for not keeping the memory of such atrocities alive in germany
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or for forgetting the moral obligations arising from them. [applause] the same is true of the inhumane treatment of millions of false laborers, particularly the eastern workers, and especially the jews, for whom forced labor was almost invariably followed by their murder. it is impossible to draw a line in our history at this point. [applause] >> in addition to the danger of forgetting, there is in fact another risk regarding how we address the darkest chapter in
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german history. the danger of it being deliberately raised in the present for political purposes. when germany participates in attempts by the international community to prevent an imminent genocide or another crime against humanity, there is no need to invoke auschwitz. it has not given germany the right to look away. the nazi's crimes against humanity are not an argument that justifies germany remaining on the sidelines in cases where there are compelling reasons to take join actions in other -- actions with other countries under the international community's responsibility to protect.
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[applause] >> any instrumentalization of the murder of the european jews, much debated by day-to-day politics, trivializes this crime. a responsible approach to history seeks to facilitate responsible actions in the present. this means, firstly, that the germans must not allow themselves to be paralyzed by contemplation of their history. secondly, political decisions must not be built up to be the only true lesson of germany's past. any attempt to justify a special
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german morality by citing national socialism leads us down the wrong path. [applause] >> nonetheless, germany does still have obligations arising directly or indirectly from german policy in the period from 1933 to 1945. among the foremost obligations that should be mentioned in this context are these special relations with israel. which have developed over the past five decades. yet, in europe as well, the nazi era still casts a shadow, a past that will not pass. not only did the german reich under hitler's leadership trample on the national
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sovereignty and territorial integrity of many european countries, by entering into the hitler-stalin pact and invading poland and attacking the soviet union, it also paved the way for europe's division into two blocks. one with freedom, one without. a division which lasted four and a half decades. as a result, germany has a special obligation of solidarity with countries which only won back their rights to internal and external self-determination in the peaceful revolutions of 1989 and 1990. [applause] on the 21st of november 1990
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just seven weeks after german reunification, the charter of paris was signed in the french capital. all 34 participating states of the conference on the security and cooperation in europe undertook to build consolidate strengthen democracy is the only -- as the only system of government of our nation. at the stroke with europe on the verge of a new era, the signatories, including the soviet union, made commitments to settle disputes by peaceful means. they reaffirmed the principles of the helsinki act, signed 15 years earlier, which included respect for territorial integrity and political independence and a pledge to
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refrain from the threat or use of force. any date which symbolizes the definitive and of the post second world war era it is the date of the signing of the charter of paris, the 21st of november, 1990. some of the hoax held, as the new era -- hopes held as the new era dawned were fulfilled. others were not. the old european occident, divided as a result of the agreement reached by the big three, the u.s., the u.k., the soviet union, at yalta in 1945 has grown together again.
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unlike in 1918, no zone of economic, political, and military instability have emerged from a central europe. -- from east central europe. in fact, most of the region's democracies are part of the european union and the atlantic alliance. however, the addition of a community of peace spanning three continents from vancouver to vladivostok the great , alliance of liberal democracy has not become reality. 2014 marked a major watershed. the illegal annexation of crimea has dramatically called into question the continued validity of the principles of the charter of paris and with them the peaceful european order on which
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the former cold war enemies had once agreed. [applause] germany is still in ongoing conflict over ukraine. germany has done everything in its power to safeguard the cohesion of the european union and the atlantic alliance. the same time, it has sought in its style i was russia, in close consultation with its allies to rescue or restore as much as possible of the policy of constructive cooperation on which east and west agreed to -- east and west had agreed after the end of the cold war. there is one thing which
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it was an is always essential to bear in mind in this context, and is a lesson from german history. our neighbors in east central europe were the victims of german-soviet aggression due to the hitler pact in 1939 and 1940, and are now our partners in european union and the atlantic alliance. and poland in the baltic republics will never be given the impression by making decisions the heads over which they will pay the price. [applause]
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in late may, 1945, and eloquent advocate of the ideas said out in english about germany and the germans at the library of congress in washington. the speech, which he himself said was a criticism could take a sentence which immediately encapsulated. i quote, the germans yielded to the temptation -- whereby this trade became its exact opposite,
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namely the most presumptive and menacing nationalism and imperialism. and of quote. the germany of any one country is incompatible. the size, population economic strength reunited germany already. this is reinforced by the responsibility arising in germany's history. it is a history rich, one which cannot be reduced from the. from 1933 to 1945 and which
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would not make the transfer of power to hitler in evitable, which did though make this consequence possible. this history is both an european imperative and a -- the third federal president put it in his inaugural address they are a difficult fatherland, one of them is germany but it is our fatherland. [applause]
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>> excellencies, members of the house, ladies and gentlemen and the ladies and gentlemen who witnessed the end of the second world war.
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professor, the applause of the palace and of many people throughout germany has made clear how impressively you have described our country and the long road west. even after 70 years you have made clear what it means to pay tribute to the state on the eighth of may. i want to thank you for this outstanding speech. [applause] the german who one the nobel prize for literature said at the end of the war, and i quote, i knew then that the war would never be over. never. as long as someone was still inflicted or bleeding. an independent number of wounds
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were inflicted by this war. wounds which create obligations for us. they remind us of the victims of socialist tyranny. they remind us to work for peas, for international understanding, for peace, and fort tolerance. this was the beginning and the eighth of may, 19 45, the and of a to radical regime which showed at her come temp for human life and dignity and claimed millions of life and perpetrated a systematic genocide which represented the absolute nadir of our customer -- of our countries history. let me say this explicitly, you were right, dr. winkler in pointing out the unique nature of this events points out, even today, 17 years later, from ever discussing it in relative terms.
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facing up to and dealing with this is the precondition for a successful future. however, the eighth of may 1945 not only obliges us to remember the victims from germany and so many other countries it also a blushes us to work with the utmost dedication for peace, freedom, and democracy. it obliges us to stand firm on the outside and reminds us there is no place for those who agitate against democracy and show contempt for human rights. [applause] this applies to extremists across the political spectrum and it applies most of all to the backward-looking and the new support that national socialists and ideologies who sow discord.
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ladies and gentlemen, such activities must be curbed with the full force of the law but also with societies approval. [applause] as time goes on, the truth of the observation that the eighth of may 1945 was a day of liberation has become clearer than ever. in his historic speech, the late president also described feelings of those who witnessed that day. there were those for whom the day of liberation did not mean freedom. the prisoners of war who endured independent suffering and those who found themselves living in the soviet sphere of influence
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where one dictatorship was simply replaced by another. for them, liberation did not apply to everyone. and for some people this may still be the exception today. there are reasons this is so. what is important, is it is tablet the basis for a new democratic germany and enabled our country to return to the civilized nations. as you pointed out, we germans cannot claim credit for the liberation. as has already been explained. as thomas munn wrote in a letter of july, 1940 five, i quote, it took an external force for the germans to rediscover humanity. and of quote. that is why i feel a need to express my profound gratitude
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today and my respect to those external forces who made sacrifices in order to free us from this in for no and from this tyranny. i would like to express my deep gratitude to those who made this possible and to made it possible to embark on this path of democracy. [applause] ladies and gentlemen at first the priority was to prevent germany from ever being able to unleash another war. but, they did more than that. they laid the foundational stone for a successful and well-functioning democracy will stop the federal system imposed by the allies built on a centuries-old tradition in germany proved to be a
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fortuitous choice. the eighth of may, 19 45 however, marked a new air at not only for germany but for centuries. europe's great powers have been at odds with each other. territorial expansion and national arrogance were routinely deployed as instruments of policy. on the eighth of may, all of this was consigned to history. europe's future had to be built on democratic values and human rights if it was to have any hopes of success. for this reason, i am deeply convinced that united europe and the european union were the right answer to the inferno of
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war. transcending borders balancing divergent interests without warfare and setting common interests. these are the real strengths of this united europe. [applause] reminding ourselves that this is a essential in view of the many diverse challenges that this united europe must master in the world. professor, as you pointed out, the conflict he between russia and ukraine, the struggle for a better future not only economically in all of the countries within this community and the efforts to combat the reasons why people seek refuge in europe. not the refugees themselves are
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just some of the examples of these challenges. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, our united europe is no paradise but i know of no other communities of nation's with such human rights, peace, freedom, and the role of law. [applause] ladies and gentlemen remembering the events of 1945 and the year that preceded it is and will remain the core task on the german political agenda. the significance of the eighth of may has many asset. as i see it, it sends a key message which is surely relevant to all of us now and in the future in our own country and in
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the world. the eighth of may is about the fundamental attitude which must inform our action. it is about mutual respect. it is about tolerance. in, it is about moral courage not only on the eighth of may but every day, over and over again. ladies and gentlemen, thank you. please rise now for the european anthem. [applause] ♪
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♪ ♪ [playing european anthem] ♪
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[applause]
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>> tomorrow, and to seen the -- tomorrow, to sunni leaders will discuss the future of their country. posted by the brookings institution, that begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two. on thursday, the air force academy football team attended a ceremony in the white house to receive their trophy. the president awards the trophy annually to the service team with the best record. this is about 10 minutes. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [applause] president obama: hello everybody. welcome to the white house. please have a seat. and congratulations to this year's winners of the commander-in-chief's trophy, the air force fighting falcons. [applause]
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so this is the falcons' third trip to the white house in the last five years. all told, it is a record 19 times that they have earned this unreasonably large trophy. [laughter] but if anybody can figure out how to get this thing to where it needs to go, it is the air force. i want to start by recognizing the air force chief of staff general mark welsh, as well as the superintendent of the air force academy, lieutenant general michelle johnson. yay! [applause] and of course, we've got coach troy calhoun, a graduate of the air force academy himself. [applause] now, last year at this time, most folks did not think that coach calhoun and the falcons would be here today. they'd just come off a less-than-ideal season.
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but this year, they came back determined to set a new tone. the falcons won four of their first five games. in a big win over navy quarterback kale pearson threw three touchdown passes, and wide receiver jalen robinette threw another on a trick play. three games later, they went to west point with this trophy on the line. and there, the falcons defense held army to just six points to complete the sweep against the academies and take this trophy back to colorado springs. [applause] and that was just one of a number of highlights this season. they posted big wins over boise state and nevada, colorado state. when the dust settled, they finished with a 10-and-3 record, a bowl victory, an eight-win improvement from last season -- which tied for the best
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turnaround in all of college football. that's quite a season right there. [applause] so this was a total team effort, led by kale -- the team mvp -- and guys like offensive lineman michael husar, and linebacker jordan pierce, and kicker will conant. and we can't forget manager chris woychak. where's chris? where is he? there he is. [applause] who became a cult hero with his all-out sprints to get that water bottle -- (laughter) -- into the huddle. coach, this guy has speed. [applause] fans started calling him "blue
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bolt." we should find some sort of position, slot the guy at wideout or something, because he can move. so this was quite a season for the falcons. but my favorite thing about air force -- and all the academies who come through here -- is not just that they win, it's how they win. last year, they had the highest graduation rate in the conference. coach recruits guys with at least a 3.5 high school gpa. as cadets, they give back to their community, and obviously ultimately, they give back to their country. alongside pre-season training, players complete summer service and leadership training. they volunteered for more than 500 hours at local community organizations. they've taken action to combat and prevent sexual assaults on their campus by joining with a campus organization called cadet athletes against sexual violence, and they recorded a video similar to our "it's on us" campaign. as defensive back christian spears said, he would -- and i quote -- "lay my life on the line for any guy up here.
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to say that and mean that, it's a real blessing." and we know that for these players, it's not just words. this week, we honor the tradition of service and sacrifice that has always defined those who wear our country's uniform as we mark the 70th anniversary of v-e day. seventy years ago tomorrow, the world celebrated a generation of young americans who thundered across a continent to liberate a people -- young americans who were willing to lay down their lives for people they'd never met and ideals that we can't live without. from the sands of africa to the beachheads of italy and normandy, to the skies over the pacific islands, young americans like these guys changed the course of human history, and shaped the future of the entire world. so we honor all our world war ii veterans for their courage and their example. we see their character alive and well in a new generation of americans who have stepped up to
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serve: the cadets behind me. the midshipmen from the naval academy who we've got here today and who teamed up to win this year's cyber defense exercise. the soldiers and marines and coast guardsmen with whom these men will serve once they graduate. every man and every woman who stands post across the country and around the world with pride and with honor, and talent and skill. you are the ones who make the united states armed forces the finest fighting force in the history of the world. and as president, i have no greater honor or greater responsibility than serving as your commander-in-chief. in the months and in the years ahead, these cadets will go on to become officers in our military. they will lead their peers, and that will call on each of you to live up to the example of those who came before you. and wherever you are stationed
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i want you to know that this country stands behind you and will strive to serve you as well as you will be serving us. but in the meantime, congratulations on a great football season. [laughter] thank you for your leadership. thank you for your service years to come. give it up once again to the fighting falcons of the air force academy. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> well, thank you mr. president. and thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i can tell you unquestionably the young men and women at the air force academy are what we want there he soon serving on active duty. in 20 days we graduate a class of over 900 cadets to immediately take the reins with
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the leaders and officers of the united states air force in a very elite squad. mr. president, we have a couple gifts for you. i do have to warn you, one of them is a number 19, which is symbolic of our 19th commander in chief trophy. we know your favorite jersey number is 23, so as i started doing the math here, we have to go back to the fdr years in terms of the number of terms and so forth. i have to gentlemen stepping up her to help us. fellows. [applause] [laughter] president obama: that is a good-looking football right there. [laughter]
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let's get a group picture. [laughter] [applause] ♪
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[laughter] [indiscernible] ♪ president obama: thank you. all right, that's fine. [laughter] >> next comic q and a. after that british prime
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minister david cameron remarks on the election results. then ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. the atlantic council hosts a discussion on how low oil prices have impact did fracking. they will also look at the potential for fracking across the globe. that is monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. here are a few of the book festivals we will be covering this spring. this weekend, we will visit maryland for live coverage of the gator festival. -- of the gaithersberg
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festival. then, we are live up for the tribune fast. including an in-depth program with a politico's winning author. that is this spring on c-span two book tv. ♪ >> this week on "q&a," our guest is kate anderson brower, author of "the residence: inside the private world of the white house," which takes a look at the executive mansion through the eyes of a workers, butlers maids, florists, engineers electricians and others who run the white house and sometimes see the first family in their most private moments. brian: kate anderson brower, author of "the residence" about the white house, who is married

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